Hiawatha Project Board Members
Wendy Arons is Associate Professor in the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests include performance and ecology, 18th- and 19th-century theatre history, feminist theatre, and performance and ethnography. She is author of Performance and Femininity in Eighteenth-Century German Woman's Writing: The Impossible Act (Palgrave MacMillan 2006), and has published articles in Theatre Topics, The German Quarterly, Communications from the International Brecht Society, 1650-1850, Text and Presentation, and Theatre Journal, as well as chapters in a number of anthologies. She has worked as a professional dramaturg with a number of leading directors, including Anne Bogart and Robert Falls, and has translated a number of plays from German into English, including The Good Person of Sezuan in collaboration with Tony Kushner. She guest edited a special issue of Theatre Topics on "Performance and Ecology," and is currently co-editing an anthology, with Dr. Theresa May, entitled Readings in Performance and Ecology. She is Director of the Performance and Ecology Public Art Project at CMU, and the writer of a blog on local theatre and culture called "The Pittsburgh Tatler" (http://wendyarons.wordpress.com). Prof. Arons is a member of Hiawatha Project's Advisory Board and is working as dramaturg on Camino.
Elizabeth Bradley is an educator, theatrical producer, festival curator, presenter, and international cultural consultant. She came to the Tisch School of the Arts as Chair of Drama after seven years leading the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. Her appointment at Carnegie Mellon followed a wide-ranging career of almost thirty years in the professional performing arts in her native Canada. Bradley was CEO of the Hummingbird Centre (now Sony Centre) for the Performing Arts in Toronto, a fourteen million dollar organization that presents multi-disciplinary attractions from around the world, including many of the major artists of the last two decades. Her theatrical producing credits include Tony-nominated Broadway productions, Edinburgh Festival premieres and extensive tours to major houses such as the Kennedy Center, and New York's City Center. She has worked directly for artists as manager and agent, and occupied a senior management position for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada. She is a recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Gold Medal for outstanding contribution to the arts in Canada. A past Chair of the International Society for the Performing Arts, an organization that links leaders in the arts from 51 countries, Bradley was instrumental in the creation of the Inaugural International Arts Forum in Beijing, China in 2001. She was the Founding Artistic Director of the first edition of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts held in October of 2004. The Festival brought nine US premieres of cutting edge multi disciplinary performance work to Pittsburgh to complement the visual arts showcased in the Carnegie International. Currently, Bradley is the Chair of the American board of the National Theatre of Scotland and is Senior Artistic Associate for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Canada under the Artistic Directorship of Des McAnuff.
Michal Friedman, a native of Israel who also spent extensive period of time living, studying and conducting research in Spain and Mexico, is the co-founder and director of "Jovenes sin Nombres." JSN is a local Latino and North American community and arts-based youth program and collective focused on issues around immigration, citizenship and the border and based in the Center for the Arts in Society at Carnegie Mellon University. She is also Adjunct Professsor of History at Carnegie Mellon University where she teaches courses on Spanish, Latin American and Jewish History.
Her doctoral research at Columbia University, scholarly articles, and teaching at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Oklahoma and Columbia, in the fields of Hispanic and Jewish history and culture, focuses on the historical coexistence (or “convivencia”) of religious and ethnic minorities, the modern and contemporary recovery of this historical legacy and its relevance to debates over national and transnational identities, immigration and tolerance/intolerance in contemporary Europe, and the Americas. Her work also explores discourses of otherness and cultural hybridity in the formation of Hispanic identities and the particular discourse of “Hispanidad” (or Hispanism).
Friedman’s academic background, work with immigrants at the Pittsburgh “Welcome Center for Immigrants and Internationals” NGO, and deep knowledge of Spanish and Latin American cultures and language, has facilitated her work with jovenes sin nombres and the issues the group addresses.
JSN is a partner of Hiawatha with which it collaborated on several local public arts project, and its directors are advisors to the group.
Justin Hopper lives as a writer and artist in Pittsburgh. His arts criticism and journalism have appeared in publications worldwide for more than a decade. Public Record, an artist's book of documentary poetry based on 19th-century Pittsburgh crime reports, was published by Encyclopedia Destructica in 2010. These Golden Legends, A book of poetry written in response to Maxo Vanka’s Millvale murals is forthcoming in fall of 2011.
He also currently also works in Marketing for Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art, and he is working on marketing efforts for Hiawatha Project.
TAVIA LA FOLLETTE
Tavia La Follette is a visual artist, deviser of theatre, performance artist and puppeteer. She is the Founder and Director of ArtUp, a space for artists concerned with exploring the contextual inter-relationships of theatre, visual arts, movement, media and sound. La Follette’s work has toured all over Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia. Her politically driven work has been the subject of articles such as the Economist, Rolling Stone Magazine and the New York Times. La Follette joined Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Arts in Society in the fall of 2010 as the first Artist-in-Residence. She is currently the director of The Firefly Tunnels, an exchange of ideas through the language of Performance Art between artists in Pittsburgh and Egypt.
Ryan McMillen is a native of Pittsburgh, PA having grown up in theNorth Hills. He attended North Allegheny high school and then graduated fromCarnegie Mellon University. Dr. McMillen graduated with his degreein podiatric medicine from Temple University where he served aspresident of the student body. He completed his surgical residency atUPMC in 2010. During his residency, Dr. McMillen was published in themost prestigious orthopedic journal, The Journal of Bone and JointSurgery and won a “Top 10 Paper” award at the Orthopaedic TraumaAssociation annual meeting in 2010. He is also an author of numerous researchpapers, invited articles and book chapters on foot and ankle surgery.Ryan completed his orthopaedic foot and ankle fellowship atthe Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Center at UPMC in 2011 and is boardqualified in foot and ankle surgery. He currently lives in the southhills of Pittsburgh. He and his wife are expecting their first child this winter.
Anne Mundell is the Associate Professor of Scene Design and the Director of Growing Theater Outreach. Growing Theater is a program that pairs Carnegie Mellon student mentors with 5th Graders from an at-risk population as they write and produce a play over the course of eight months. As a professional Scene Designer she has and designed and painted scenery for hundreds of projects throughout the United States. Anne serves of the Boards of Directors of The Murals Project (Marilyn G. Rabb Foundation) and Pittsburgh City Theater.
VANESSA ROSENBERGER CHEATHAM
Vanessa Rosenberger Cheatham is the Advancement Officer for Carnegie Mellon University and specializes in fundraising and alumni relations for the College of Fine Arts. She has worked in the non-profit sector for arts and human service organizations for the past twelve years from the grassroots level to large-scale companies. Currently she is earning her Masters in Non-profit Management from the Heinz College of Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University.
Thalia Snyder has previous work in theater, real estate and dentistry, not to mention parenting. Her theater experience includes work at Red Barn Theater, JCC, South Park Theater, and Unseamed Shakespeare (Teatro Latino de Pittsburgh). She is presently doing voiceover work and narrating books in digital format at Carnegie Library for the Blind and Disabled. She proudly serves as a Board Member for the Hiawatha Project.